In an era in which we are hearing more and more about threats to the humanities, including the consolidation and elimination of departments, it is nice to have some good news. Tiger Roholt of Montclair State University writes in with some:
Since the 1960s, the Philosophy program at Montclair State University has existed within a shared department, alongside Relig..
In one of the comments on the recent post about attendance, Chris requests a follow-up discussion on the mechanics of class participation. Some relevant questions:
- What kinds of class participation do you ask your students for?
- How do you encourage a wide range of students to participate?
- Does participation count as part of your students’ final grade? If so,..
At his new site, What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher, Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina) has posted a long and wide-ranging interview with Michael Ruse (Florida State). The interview covers a lot of his personal life and how he got into philosophy, evolution and creationism and his testimony in the McLean versus Arkansas Board of Education lawsuit, interdisciplinary ..
Last week’s post, “Philosophy’s Exclusion of Literary Writings,” asked whether philosophy could be done in the form of fiction or myth or poetry. Around the same time, I learned of a book whose description from the publisher included this question: “Given that poetry is about alternative forms of knowing, and philosophy the universal address of logos, then can the t..
Two weeks ago I put up a post soliciting questions for academic publishers. If you submitted a question, thanks. Editors at various presses—Peter Momtchiloff, Peter Ohlin, and Lucy Randall at Oxford University Press, Stephen Latta of Broadview Press, Hilary Gaskin of Cambridge University Press, Philip Laughlin of MIT Press, Rob Tempio of Princeton University Press..
Christy Wampole (Princeton) lays out a series of complaints and concerns about conferences in the humanities, including:
We have sat patiently and politely through talks read line by line in a monotone voice by a speaker who doesn’t look up once, wondering why we couldn’t have read the paper ourselves in advance with a much greater level of absorption.
Karl Schafer, currently associate professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, has accepted an offer as full professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, starting this fall. Schafer works mainly in ethics, epistemology, the history of modern philosophy, and Kant, and on related issues in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and politi..
No, no one has created one yet, but it would be useful. Something close to it is the philosophy page at TV Tropes, which lists various philosophical themes that, when clicked on, will take you to a page describing the theme in more detail and giving examples of it in a variety of mediums, including television.
Speaking of TV, Alison Gopnik (Berkeley) sent over t..
The Geek Feminism Wiki, a site aimed primarily at people involved in computing and technology, has a “Conference anti-harrasment” page. Brought to my attention by Maarten Steenhagen (thanks!), the site has a sample conference anti-harassment policy, a resource page with suggestions and answers to frequently asked questions, and other information.
In answer to the..
Sukaina Hirji and Daniel Wodak, two graduate students at Princeton, are currently teaching a class of fourteen prisoners at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in New Jersey. You may recall that they were two of the philosophers interviewed here previously about their experiences teaching philosophy in prison.
Their course this term is called “Philos..
The Great Endarkenment: Philosophy for an Age of Hyperspecialization is a new book by Elijah Millgram (Utah). In the book, Professor Millgram looks at the implications of our becoming, more and more, “a society of specialists” in which “communication across the barriers between the professions and disciplines is our own very pressing problem,” a problem that “threat..
Jon Litland (University of Texas, Austin) has won the 2015 Sanders Prize in Metaphysics for his paper, “Grounding Ground.” The prize is given to the winner of an annual essay competition open to scholars who are within fifteen years of having received their Ph.D., or students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program (independent scholars may also be eligible..
“On no issue did ethicists show unequivocally better behavior than the two comparison groups,” the researchers reported.
An article in The Atlantic— “The Hypocrisy of Professional Ethicists“— sums up research by Eric Schwitzgebel (UCR), Joshua Greene (Harvard), Sara Bleich (Johns Hopkins), Eric Schulz (Max Planck Inst.), Michael Koenigs (Wisconsin), and other..
Daniel Dennett (Tufts) has withdrawn from the popular World Science Festival upon learning of its funding from the John Templeton Foundation. Dennett, whose opposition to Templeton has been discussed here before, is reported by The Washington Post as saying:
“I would be very happy to have the Templeton Foundation sponsor research on religion and science,” he said..
In “What’s the Point of a Professor?“, an opinion piece in The New York Times, Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein laments the current role of professors. In the past, “students looked to professors for moral and worldly understanding.” Now, “finding meaning and making money have traded places.” In the past, “you couldn’t walk down the row of faculty o..
Natalia Cecire, a lecturer at in English and American literature at Sussex, has embarked upon an interesting project called “Crash Courses for the Desperate”:
Lately I’ve been thinking about what to do with students who suddenly need to get up to speed in a field, and don’t have time to take a course or immerse themselves in it for a year. I’m especially thinking..
Ann Cudd, currently Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies and University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas, will become Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Boston University, starting this August. Professor Cudd works in social and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, feminist theory, and philosophy of social ..
Clifford Sosis continues his very interesting series of interviews with philosophers with Mary Louise Gill of Brown University. There’s a lot in this one, which Sosis helpfully sums up:
She talks about reading Gone with The Wind in secret at home (it was forbidden), being required to read J Edgar Hoover’s Masters of Deceit in the 6th grade, her father, John Glanv..
Some fifth grade students in Irvine, California are getting an introduction to philosophy some eight years ahead of normal thanks to a new program developed by Marcello Fiocco, associate professor of philosophy at UC Irvine. The program, called TH!NK, is a four-week, 16-hour course taught by Fiocco and UC Irvine philosophy graduate students at Canyon View Elementary..
Does your institution offer in-person philosophy courses for the public? The Sydney School of Continental Philosophy (School of the Arts & Media, UNSW Australia) and The Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy (University of Melbourne) do. Courses are run during school breaks and in the evenings, are relatively inexpensive, have no prerequisites and no assessment..
“East is East and West is West, and ne’er the twain shall meet.”
Well, no. Kipling got it wrong.
The East and the West have been meeting for a long time. For most of the last few hund..
David Barnett, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will be resigning from the school with a $210,000 settlement. Barnett had gone through termination proceedings last year on grounds that he had retaliated against a student who had complained about another student sexually assaulting her (previous stories on this here). The D..
Si-Won Song, a student about to graduate from the University of Puget Sound, has created a series of digital artworks based on well-known philosophical thought experiments. Song, a philosophy major (with minors in studio art and Japanese) first got the idea from reading about Frank Jackson’s thought experiment, Mary’s Room, in Professor Justin Tiehen’s philosophy of..
A couple of weeks ago I put the entertaining promotional video for “Paradox and Infinity,” an online course by Augustín Rayo (MIT), in the Heap of Links. In case you missed it, I’ve put it at the bottom of this post. A few other online courses have been brought to my attention that look particularly good, including: two taught by large teams at the University of Ed..
Spanish philosopher Emilio Lledó Iñigo has been awarded the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. Eight such awards are given annually, in different fields. The Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts went to Francis Ford Coppola and the award for social sciences was given to economist Esther Duflo. The awards include a replica of a Joan..
Cosmology’s hot streak has stalled. Cosmologists have looked deep into time, almost all the way back to the Big Bang itself, but they don’t know what came before it. They don’t know whether the Big Bang was the beginning, or merely one of many beginnings. Something entirely unimaginable might have preceded it. Cosmologists don’t know if the world we see around us is..
If philosophy can sometimes sound weird to other philosophers, it can sound really weird to non-philosophers. Imagine (you can do it) you were in a conversation with some non-philosophers and they asked, “what’s your strangest philosophical belief?”
What would your answer be?
(image: detail of “They Have Slept In The Forest Too Long” by Max Ernst)